A time to heal

These past few weeks have been very tough.  I've taken a necessary hiatus but it's time to get back to work.  My mother was in the hospital beginning in September and on through October.  She's had COPD for quite some time and the complications led her to need a necessary surgery.

COPD didn't slow her down much however.  Over the past 9 years she had the condition but managed it well.  It wasn't until this past year that she suffered some slow down, but not completely debilitating.  The doctors recommended her carry oxygen to keep a saturated level in her lungs.  She was still shopping, attending our kids events, and spending time with family and friends.  

This all turned in August when she suffered a collapsed lung.  She spent 3 days in the hospital was outfitted with a drain to help her heal.  She never completely mended.  Doctors recommended surgery to help her heal and she made it through well.  We had the best of hopes, she'd rest in the hospital for a week or so and come home to finish up.  

Sadly, it was the end.  On October 15 we lost her.  It's been extremely tough since her passing.  This past weekend we had a wonderful memorial for her.  So many friends and family came by to pay respects, share old stories, and provide comfort.

I'm truly blessed to have had such a wonderful mother.  She was our caregiver, friend, and biggest fan.  Everyone that was a part of her life remembers how amazing she was.  I'm constantly reminded of how special she was, and I'll have that to cherish forever.  

We miss you Mom.  I know you'll be looking down on our family and watching over.

In honor of my mother.  Linda Jane Ash - June 06, 1952 - October 2015, 2015

Austin Dog Rescue

Hey everyone, hope you had an awesome weekend.  I started mine out by volunteering for my favorite dog rescue, Austin Dog Rescue.  It's a wonderful group of people helping out pups around central Texas.  It's not just "Austin" per se, as I see them moving around to Wimberley, Bastrop, Georgetown, and even Lakeway area.  It's a very tight group of people who help dogs get back to health, find owners, promote awareness, and other wonderful things too. 

I created a page to dedicate the photography that I do for this group.  I like to do the shots and edit them for the group to help promote the puppies on the site.  The first images they see are the ones that will spark interest in new owners and I'm excited to do this for the group.

The most recent photos I take will be on the page and you can hit the link here.

I hope you enjoy them.  I put them on social media as well so please follow me there if you like to see the latest.   Volunteer work



Meet Roger Dodger!

Shooting personal projects has a real impact on your future work with clients as well.  You have to be energized to shoot your next project or else you risk doing a less than amazing job for your client.

Personal projects can amp that enthusiasm for the craft and keep the creative juices flowing.  I have taken up shooting dog portraits for our local dog rescue Austin Dog Rescue.  If you have some time please check them out.  They are an amazing group of people that have a devout passion for saving the lives of pooches all around Austin.  

I was approached to do a shoot with them and I get to reveal that image some time this year but the net of that meeting was a great bunch of friends who we collaborate on projects together.  One friend has asked me to shoot some images of dogs she fosters and she just so happens to live a hop and a skip from me so it works out well.  

My latest project was with Roger Dodger.  He's a cute little cattle dog with light brown spots and blue/grey coloring up around the neck and back.  He immediately latched on to my heart strings and we hit it off.  He had a very playful attitude and he'd run around the yard and then pose before running away again.  Very well mannered for a 10 week old.  

The portrait shots were just so cute because his little ears would stand straight up.   I told the foster it reminded me of a hyena.  I am sure he will not last long on the adoption site.  I have almost convinced myself just to take him in but alas, i have 2 dogs already.  3 would be too many along with our 3 cats and 2 kids.

If you'd like to check him out he'll be on the ADR page soon and I can connect you with his foster.  Poor guy fell out of a truck and was picked up and brought to a vet to be checked out.  Soon after he was in our foster's good care and is perfectly healthy.  He managed to dodge some traffic so hence the name, "Roger Dodger" 


-Stay Focused-

We are not alone

We rotate every 24 hours.  We see the same stars at night, and every 27.5 days we get a chance to see so many of them.  The new moon is a special thing.  The moon is completely void of reflected light from the sun and this is when you can see many stars.  

Last night was clear and did not disappoint.  I drove out to Burnet from my town of Pflugerville.  It's about a 1 hour drive on highway 29.  Along the way you can see more deer than cars and the dark sky is littered with twinkles.  

I'm sewing my wild oats I suppose.  Pretty soon I'll have another little star in my life.  My second born will be here any day and we can't wait to welcome him into the world.  I figured last night was about the last time I could get out and not feel like I may need to race back home. 

There's a side farm road off 29 that takes you by Lake Buchanan.  I followed it along for a mile or so looking for a break where I could go shoot stars over the lake.  Unfortunately it's all private property and the dam was lit up so there was little point of shooting toward the water.  I took a road back in toward the neighborhood and stopped right at a T.  I put the car in park, got out and set up camp.  I had my flashers on for a minute but soon realized...I was the only one out there.  

converted to B&W with Nik Silver Efex 2.0

Thought I was miles away from the city, the light pollution was still very evident.  So many colors from amber to cyan cluttering the horizons.  It's a shame we can't have blackouts in certain areas.  Out in west Texas there are dark sky areas where the lights have certain covers and brightness is limited to allow for excellent visibility at night.  That is my dream spot for star photography.  I'll make a trip there around a new moon sometime.  

This last capture was posted on 500px.com/cody_ash.  It was my favorite from the day.  I exposed the road some in Lightroom and sharpened the stars up a bit.  Hope you enjoy the gallery.